A Day in the Life at CA: Katie Martin, Lead Teacher, CA Montessori Children’s Center

Katie Martin, CA Montessori Children's Center teacher

What it’s like to work as a Lead Teacher at a CA Montessori Children’s Center

 We’re celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by introducing some of the outstanding Teachers at our company-subsidized, on-site Montessori Centers, which CA has provided for the past 25 years in our larger global offices for the children and family members of our employees. This profile of one of our Montessori Lead Teachers is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.

Meet Katie

Katie Martin, Lead Teacher, CA Montessori Children's CenterKatie has been a preschool teacher for 7 years, six of those at the CA Technologies Montessori Children’s Center in Framingham, MA, where she teaches children from 3 to 6 years old. She’s wanted to be a teacher ever since she can remember.

“As a teenager, all my jobs revolved around children, working at camps, afterschool programs, etc. Those experiences finalized my decision to pursue a career as a teacher.”

Katie went to school with a focus on Early Childhood Education. Through her student teaching and practicums, she fell in love with working in preschool environments.

When she’s not teaching, Katie and her husband love to travel to new places or visit friends and family. She also volunteers as a coach for a youth lacrosse team in her town. “I played in college and have loved introducing the game to 9- and 10-year old girls. Seeing them enjoy the game the way I have is really rewarding!” she said.

A typical day

The first thing Katie does in the morning is set up her classroom to make sure she’s prepared for the day. The Center opens at 8:00 a.m., with children coming in throughout the morning depending on their parents’ work schedule. She greets the children as they come in and they spend time talking while enjoying breakfast. After breakfast, the children begin their work cycle. During this time, Katie works with the children individually, or in small groups.

“This teaching philosophy can take me from multiplication with one child to reading with another, or washing a table. I love being able to work one-on-one with the children, as it allows me to build individual relationships better than I can when working with large groups.”

After a three-hour work cycle, they go outside, where the children have opportunities to ride bikes, play in the sandbox, or use their imaginations to open an ice cream shop. Then it’s time for lunch.

“We eat our meals family style so we can sit and talk and enjoy lunch together. This is a wonderful time to connect as a group, before the children lay down for their nap.”

After nap time ends, around 3 p.m., there are snacks and thematic activities based on current events and the interests of the children.

“Every day follows the same schedule, but can be so different based on the children and their interests.”

The Center

We asked Katie what she feels is the best part of the center.

“The best part about the center is the team I work with. There are seven of us right now, and we really work well together to support each other and the children. Having relocated, I have really loved getting to know and build relationships with my coworkers.”

As for her classroom, she says the best part besides the children is the environment and Nala, the class’ pet rabbit.

Nala the rabbit, CA Montessori Children's Center

“The best part of the classroom is how it promotes the children to be independent and a part of their own community. The room is warm and welcoming and meant to feel like a children’s house. The children have opportunities to interact with beautiful materials and make their own connections to the world around them.

“The children adore Nala and make sure that she is well taken care of. She hops around the room during our day and joins us outside when it’s nice out. Watching the children understand the responsibility and needs of an animal at this age is such a wonderful experience.”

Katie also loves hosting Center events.

“For the Olympics this year, we hosted an Olympic day with winter events and a photo booth. Having Center celebrations for holidays and events is such a special part of our school culture.”

Katie Martin, CA Montessori Children's Center

Benefits

All employees of the CA Montessori Children’s Centers enjoy the full array of CA benefits. Katie said that CA’s commitment to education and training has been a large part of her role at the center.

“I was sent to AMI training in Dallas for three summers to learn the Montessori philosophy and my role as a lead teacher. CA sponsored the program and covered the expenses to travel and live in Texas. Working for a company that values ongoing education and personal growth is important to me.”

Why CA?

We asked Katie what advice she would give to teachers about working for tech company-subsidized school, as opposed to a more traditional setting.

“Working for a school that is sponsored by a tech company creates such a wonderful, welcoming community. The parents can come down and visit, have lunch and participate in center events. You feel like you are part of a larger community than just a school, which is a uniquely positive aspect to our program.

“The peace of mind that CA provides its employees by allowing them to take such an active role in their child’s day is special. They have made a commitment to the importance of early education, and I love being a part of their mission.”

If you’re interested in teaching at a CA Montessori Children’s Center, search here or create a custom job alert to get notifications on teacher roles that match your search.

Want to learn more about #LifeAtCA? Follow the hashtag and LifeAtCA on Instagram to see employee pictures from around the world.

A Day in the Life at CA: Melissa Delapaz-Smith, Lead Teacher, CA Montessori Children’s Center

Melissa Delapaz-Smith, Montessori Teacher, Day in the Life At CA

What it’s like to work as a Lead Teacher at a CA Montessori Children’s Center

 We’re celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by introducing some of the outstanding Teachers at our company-subsidized, on-site Montessori Centers, which CA has provided for the past 25 years in our larger global offices for the children and family members of our employees. This profile of one of our Montessori Lead Teachers is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.

 Meet Melissa

Melissa Delapaz-Smith, Lead Teacher, CA Montessori Children's CenterMelissa Delapaz-Smith is a Lead Teacher at the CA Children’s Montessori Center in Islandia, NY, where she has been teaching for almost 16 years. She has always enjoyed spending time with young children such as her cousins, nieces, nephews and friends, so it was only natural that she became a teacher. When she was a student at Stony Brook University, she volunteered at an on-campus preschool. That’s when she saw an ad for an open house at the CA Montessori Children’s Center.

“I saw that it was a Montessori setting and it was something I was very interested in, having gone to a Montessori school myself as a child.”

Outside of work, Melissa has two daughters, ages 9 and 12, who dance competitively and play softball. Her husband is also a teacher who works with children who have autism and does early intervention.

“Our family is fully supportive of each other, so we are always there for our girls, going to their dance competitions and softball games.”

Melissa and her family, who live in Long Beach, also love to spend time outdoors riding bikes, running on the boardwalk, or going to the beach. They are also huge Yankees fans and love going to baseball games as often as they can!

An average day at work

Melissa, who is often the first teacher to arrive, starts her day by greeting the children and their parents. She sets up her classroom and talks to parents about the morning or anything eventful that happened the night before. The children then help get breakfast ready and eat. By 9:15, breakfast is cleared and the children start choosing activities to work on.

For the remainder of the morning, she presents lessons, takes notes and makes observations. The children go outside to play while Melissa takes her lunch break. After lunch she helps them clean up and get settled into the afternoon work cycle. Children who are not napping choose activities, then she typically works with kindergarteners in smaller group lessons.

By 3:15, the kindergarteners leave the classrooms for their specials. On Thursdays, she teaches them science, where they utilize the center’s certified outdoor classrooms, weather permitting. When weather doesn’t permit, lessons take place in the science classroom, where she has been incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineer and math) subjects. The children then usually leave between 5 and 6 p.m.

“I love the age group that I teach. Part of the Montessori philosophy is mixed ages in a classroom, and in my classroom, the children’s ages range from 3 to 6 years old … I enjoy watching the older children take [the toddlers] underneath their wings, and they want to help them so much.”

The Montessori Center

We asked Melissa what her favorite part of the center is.

“I think that one of the best things about our center is that it is so family oriented. Many of the staff members have been working here for over 10 years. We have families who have had all of their children in the center and some of those former students are now in college. I have students that I taught who are now in high school, some in college as well, and some I keep in touch with.”

She also loves her classroom.

“The best part about my classroom is that I know the parents feel like they are not just dropping off their children with a babysitter. They know that the children are feeling loved and cared for, but they are also learning and they are getting life skills like independence, self-help and love of learning to prepare them for the future.”

CA Montessori Children's center classroom, Islandia, NY

CA benefits

Teachers at our Montessori centers enjoy the full range of CA Technologies benefits. What is Melissa’s favorite?

“I honestly have to say that for me the best CA benefit is the Montessori Children’s Center. And I am not saying this because I work there. I was able to bring both of my girls to work with me every day from the time they were 3 months old. My managers and team members were so supportive of me, as I was also breastfeeding. I was able to step out of the classroom so that I could go downstairs and nurse.”

She also found CA and the CA Montessori Children’s Center to be very supportive when her family was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“I was able to take time off I needed and our family also received donations of clothing, supplies and emotional support. It was such a difficult time, but we were able to get through because of such support and caring.”

Why CA?

We asked Melissa what she would tell teachers wondering what it’s like to work for a school subsidized by a tech company, as opposed to a more traditional setting.

“It is such a unique environment, but I believe there are many benefits to being part of a tech company versus a school district. We are able to have all of the benefits CA employees have. We are also not restricted to take vacation during regular school vacations; we can take vacations at any time during the year.

“It is more of a family environment, instead of spending September through June with the children, you get to work with these children and their families for two to three years and really get to know them. I think you take an important role in shaping these children’s minds and really become a part of their families.

“I truly love what I do and the impact I have on these children’s lives. I feel fortunate to work for a company that places an importance on balancing work and family life.”

If you’re interested in teaching at a CA Montessori Children’s Center, search here or create a custom job alert to get notifications on teacher roles that match your search.

Want to learn more about #LifeAtCA? Follow the hashtag and LifeAtCA on Instagram to see employee pictures from around the world.